German EU Presidency Will Focus On Tax Issues: Merkel

On April 25, 2020, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Germany would attempt to seek agreement on a financial transaction tax and a minimum corporate tax when it assumes the presidency of the European Union in July 2020.

Merkel made the comments in a video podcast in which she emphasized the importance of a coordinated EU response to the current COVID-19 crisis.

"The question will be, where can we grow together better and maybe agree on certain things? For example, a financial transaction tax, minimum taxes, the question of joint emissions trading in the area of ships or aircraft," Merkel said of Germany's upcoming EU presidency, which is due to run from July 1, 2020, to the end of the year.

Earlier this year, Germany attempted to break the deadlocked negotiations on an EU financial transaction tax with a proposal for a 0.2 percent tax on the purchases of shares in companies with a market capitalization in excess of EUR1bn (USD1.1bn). The tax would also apply to depositary receipts issued domestically and abroad and which are backed by shares in these companies

However, Austria, which is one of the 10 member states attempting to agree the terms of an EU FTT, has voiced its opposition to this proposal, warning that it will adversely affect retail investors.

Germany is also a strong advocate of a global minimum corporate tax, a proposal which also has wider support within the G7 group of nations.

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